Letter to the Editor - Important Update
Regarding ACA Enrollment After Job Loss
On behalf of, and with the approval of, the PACG Health Care Reform Forum, I submitted the letter that follows to the local QC newspapers, and it was published on Saturday, April 11. My involvement with PACG was duly noted. If you know of anyone who has lost his/her job and associated health insurance, please bring the potential assistance that might be available at healthcare.gov to his/her attention.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are losing their jobs. Those with employer-provided health insurance may also be losing that coverage at the worst possible time: leaving them with potentially no income and, if they become ill, no insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) offers them valuable resources.
Iowa and Illinois residents in that situation may be able to get insurance on the federal ACA Marketplace. They may also qualify for a premium subsidy or for coverage under Medicaid. The website healthcare.gov allows them to explore their options. It is important to note that they have a 60-day window after losing their employment in which to apply.
Although some insurers have waived some consumer costs of coronavirus treatment, such costs can still be very high, especially if hospitalization is required; moreover, other health care issues (broken leg, appendicitis) may still arise. Having good health insurance is essential.
The coronavirus pandemic has made us acutely aware of how important it is for all Americans to have access to good health care. The Affordable Care Act has already provided health insurance for millions of uninsured families, and it is there for many of us who need the coverage now. Our people need our government to uphold that law, not seek its overthrow in the courts.
One of the lessons we must learn from this terrible time is that good health care coverage needs to be strengthened and expanded to cover everyone, in good times as well as bad.
Karen Metcalf, Co-facilitator
Health Care Reform Forum
Progressive Action for the Common Good